As a little girl growing up in the Dominican Republic, Yerika Jimenez, currently a Ph.D. student in computing at the University of Florida, noticed she had a knack for fixing things – cell phones, TVs, radios. Everyone in her community would bring her broken items, and she would return them repaired. A few years later, when Jimenez was nine years old, her family settled in New Jersey, and her fascination with technology continued.
Posts categorized under: Profiles in Computing
Part of the mission of the Computing Research Association (CRA) is to mentor and cultivate the talent development of computing researchers at all levels. Several programs led by the Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) focus on increasing gender diversity in computing. This column, “Profiles in Computing,” showcases successful individuals in computing, who donate their time and energy to mentoring future generations and strengthening the community of computing researchers through CRA-W initiatives.
Krintz believes it is important in computing research to push technology forward by including people with diverse perspectives and ideas. To do that, she supports increasing underrepresented minority participation in computing. “I think it benefits both society and technology in general. Personally, it’s just so inspiring to see young people have new ideas, get excited, and want to go out and change the world.”
Tanya Amert, a computer science Ph.D. student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, found herself drawn to computer science because she enjoyed figuring out how things work. At 13 years old, she was a big fan of the Neopets website and online community. Amert noticed some users had customized homepages, and her interest grew even more. Despite not knowing any HTML at the time, she learned how to look at the source code and figured out how to change the color of the scroll bar within the CSS. “I discovered that specific lines of HTML made that happen. And I thought that was mind boggling and awesome.”
By Shar Steed, CRA Communications Specialist Morgan Carroll, a senior studying computer science at University of Texas at Tyler, fondly remembers her grandfather buying her a HP Pavilion with Windows 98 when she was eight years old. “From then on I just loved computers. In high school, I figured out that I was good at […]
The 2016 Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort) brought together more than 30 accomplished speakers and 550 female graduate students in computing. Rita H. Wouhaybi who is a research scientist with Intel Labs’ Systems and Software Research at Intel Corporation, was one of the speakers who shared her unique perspective with the attendees.
From an early age, current Ph.D. student and 2016 Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort) attendee Caroline Trippel had a positive image of women in computing. Her mother earned an undergraduate degree in math, a Master’s degree in computer science, and currently works as an embedded systems software engineer.
For Volcano Kyungyoon Kim, current Ph.D. student and 2016 Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort) attendee, choosing to study computer science was an easy decision. She knew since elementary school that she would have a career in computing. Volcano comes from a computer science family – her father is a computer science professor, her mother also has a degree in computer science, and now her younger brother is currently pursuing a master’s degree in computer science. “Every single one of them is in computer science. So I never really thought of anything else. My parents think that it’s the most exciting and valuable field of study and it will lead to a great career in the future.”
While this influenced her enough to begin studying computer science in college, during her first two years she wasn’t totally convinced that it was a perfect fit for her. It wasn’t until Volcano discovered the flexibility of the field and its interdisciplinary nature that she was completely hooked. “There was a moment later on when I thought this is really perfect for me. It is not only about computer science, it is about applying it to all the other areas. If you have an interest in art, having a computer science background can boost your art skills or it can even open up a new art genre such as 3D painting in a virtual reality. Computer science is like a magic powder that you can add to other fields. ”
The 2016 Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort) brought together more than 30 accomplished speakers and 550 female graduate students in computing. Kim Hazelwood, who leads a performance and datacenter capacity engineering and analysis team within Facebook’s infrastructure division, was one of the speakers who shared her unique perspective with the attendees. Kim has always had an interest in technology and a love for math. Like many undergraduate students, Kim didn’t take any computer science classes in high school. However, she took a leap and declared computer engineering as her major heading into her undergraduate degree at Clemson University. “First time was a charm on actually picking the right area for me,” she explained.
An early love of science fiction is what initially lured Drew to a career in STEM. Her fascination with outer space and the future, recurrent themes in science fiction, inspired her to study astronomy and become a physics major. Although she didn’t take any high school computer science courses, she always enjoyed tinkering with computer programs on her own. She decided in college to take a coding class and “really loved it.” Drew soon changed her major to computer science because she wanted to be part of the movement that brings to life the technologies we dream about in science fiction.
Bushra Anjum is a self-described “adventure seeker” in addition to her day job in computing.
“I’m into extreme sports–I like jumping out of planes or off of cliffs. I am an adventure seeker, at the bottom of my heart. So anything that sounds like an adventure to me –I will jump at that.”
When Anjum is not jumping out of a plane or off a cliff, she works as a software and research engineer at Amazon, Inc. in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Specifically, Anjum has expertise in agile software development for large-scale distributed systems, with a special emphasis on system design and development for highly scalable, fault-tolerant systems. At CRA-W’s 2016 Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort), I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with Anjum, who described why she has a passion for CRA-W and increasing diversity in computing.